Internal memos detail Hobby Lobby’s lackadaisical Coronavirus response…

Last Thursday, as the Coronavirus cloud of doom spread across America like The Nothing from The Neverending Story, Hobby Lobby founder David Green – a man worth approximately $6,400,000,000 – issued a Daily Devotional-style open letter to his “wonderful” 43,000 employees.

The letter eventually found its way Twitter…

In all fairness to Hobby Lobby, the letter doesn’t address the retailer’s foolish decision to let foolish shoppers continue to shop in their arts and crafts stores as an invisible virus hides in plain sight, infecting, wounding and killing thousands and thousands of people.

It also doesn’t address the company’s bizarre decision to require 4,000 people in the metro to work at the corporate office and distribution center in South Oklahoma City when the work could easily be done at home.

No, it’s really nothing more than a vague, out-of-touch, churchy motivational speech that alludes to hard times ahead, while not taking hard time ahead seriously.


After the letter made the rounds on social media, we acquired via The Ogle Mole Network three other internal memos issued during the month of March that illustrate the company’s lagging response to the Coronavirus crisis.

The first memo was sent by Company founder David Green on March 3rd, a.k.a. Super Tuesday. Although it outlines restrictions on some forms of air travel, it – like a lot of people, business and government officials were doing on March 3rd – tends to downplay the immediacy of the threat. It basically acknowledges Coronavirus’s existence with some now-dated CDC talking points, but that’s it:

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”TLO- Memo Re Coronavirus (Final).doc”]

The company followed that memo with another one a week later, on March 10th. It outlines some owner-friendly HR policies, but that’s about it:

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”TLO- 2ndD.GreenMemo (004).docx”]

For most people in Oklahoma, the Coronavirus became incredibly real the very next day, when the Oklahoma City Thunder / Utah Jazz game was postponed and the NBA season suspended. Since then, the bar and restaurant scene has shuttered and schools have all closed, all while our hospitals prepare for the worst the best they can.

Despite that dire situation, everything appears to be business as normal at Hobby Lobby. Stores remain open where they’re allowed to be open, and 4,000 employees at their massive corporate headquarters and distribution center on S. Council are still expected to show up for work.

On Thursday, March 19th, nine days after the previous memo, David Green sent another memo to these campus employees. It wasn’t to announce the details of a plan for them to work remotely, or what the company will do when it has to shut down before the pandemic gets out of control.

Instead, it was just a friendly reminder about social distancing.

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”TLO Memo”]

I know I’m not the God-chosen billionaire-owner of an arts and crafts empire that exploits cheap overseas labor for massive profits, but isn’t that a bit late. If people don’t know about social distancing at this point, you should probably just fire them.

A few hours later, Green released the letter that’s generated all the negative attention:

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”TLO-Letter to Employees from David Green – March 19, 2020 (1)”]

Yep, there you go Hobby Lobby employees: Guide, Guard and Groom. That will get you through this pandemic unscathed.

Seriously, what a tool. We’re facing a generational public health crisis and complete meltdown of the global economy, and this billionaires response is “Chill out. Tighten your belt. My ‘Prayer Warrior’ wife reached out to the deity who created the Coronavirus.” I wonder how that would even work?

“Look Gabriel! The living virus that I, the all powerful Yahweh, has created is working! My humans are finally suffering atonement for voting for… wait… what’s that… the woman I turned into an arts and crafts billionaire is on the prayer line!”

“I believe she’s asking for guidance, my Lord!”

“Tell her it’s not my fault — the Devil sold them forged biblical artifacts. I had nothing to do with it. They should have known better.”

“I believe she’s asking for guidance on the pandemic you created, my Lord.”

“Oh, tell her Guide, Guard, and Groom. I can’t wait to see that painted on a cross-shaped wall  ornament soon.”

Well, at least that’s how I assume the conversation would go.

Anyway, in these scary times, when every day not spent attempting to slow the spread of the Coronavirus is a wasted opportunity, it appears that Hobby Lobby’s founder David Green is more concerned about making money than looking out for the health and safety of employees.

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33 Responses

  1. If there’s a reason not to shop at Hobby Lobby, then what is? Worthless leadership.

  2. Just wow😳

  3. Give the simple-minded bible literalists a break. After all, they just found out that their Dead Sea Scrolls are fake, so just imagine the surprise……to ABSOLUTELY NOBODY!

  4. “…we can all rest knowing that God is in control.”

    I can understand easily why Mr. Green believes that. Clearly God intended for Mr. Green and his righteous family to be billionaires, so God must have all of the universe under control as well. Makes sense, right?

    For the rest of us, it is clear that Almighty God has ceded whatever control He possesses, and allows the universe to govern itself by random chance. (Einstein was wrong about this. God DOES play dice with the universe.)

    I find that to be a more comforting theological conclusion than to believe that we live under the absolute control of a malevolent God who purposefully sends deadly weather, childhood cancer, random violence, and even economy-destroying deadly viral plagues to torment His creatures.

    To the extent that He involves Himself, may God protect Mr. Green’s employees from their employer’s presumption.

    Despair is a sin against hope, Mr. Green. But so is presumption.

  5. Jim Inhofe relishes a Corona whilst reading this letter and nodding in agreement w/ Mr GreenGenes…Amen

    1. Funny 😄 we as Oklahomans are doomed. We have no effective leadership starting at the top with Mr no-vaxxer ugh!

  6. What do people in Oklahoma not understand. Phony asshat Christian conservatives like this douche bag and Kevin stitt are only into Jesus for money, the more they take in the less taxes they want to pay. Quit supporting this bullshit.

    1. ahem…I mean, amen.

  7. Why doesn’t he make all his empty Hemisphere stores available for whatever use can be made of them in this pandemic?

  8. Christians, this is your guy. Be proud.

    1. How is this our guy? I guess Inhofe is your guy since you both breath air. Idiot

  9. I never thought that I would ever type these words about the Green Family, but in this situation, they are running their business like a bunch of snowflakes!!! The family runs the risk of being kicked out of the True and Conservative Evangelical Club (TM) because this family is telling their workers not to travel by plane, that’s it’s OK to practice social distancing at work, and the worst sin, telling people to stay home from work if they are running a fever. In comparsion, here’s how the rest of the True and Conservative Evangelical Club (TM) is currently responding to the COVID-19 virus.

    Let’s be thankful that Green’s billionaire wife hasn’t made the promise (yet, but only a matter of time) to not only cure all of Hobby Lobby employees of this virus by having them tounch the printed memo, but offer to heal the entire state of Oklahoma as well.

  10. Reading that the Greens decided to endanger their employees because Mrs. Green heard from God that they should. I think back to “Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail” about how one ascends to leadership. Arthur tells the “Lady of the Lake” story to a peasant, who say, “Listen: Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme Executive Power derives from a mandate of the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. You can’t expect to wield Supreme Executive Power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you…” In other words, be careful of ruling countries or companies based upon voices from God. What in the world made them think He was talking to her?

    1. Thanks for the laugh

      1. You gotta have laughs these days…

    2. Good point, Jeff. How do we know that it isn’t Satan whispering in her ear, giving her advice that will give the Greens’ employees more exposure to the plague?

      I trust that Mr. Green himself is still working at his office surrounded by lots of his employees. One should practice what one preaches.

      1. Graychin: A couple of days ago I heard voices, but they were telling me that my car warranty was about to expire…

        1. I have heard those voices too. I’m certain that it’s one of Satan’s female minions.

          Ignore her. She’s trying to scam us. My car’s warranty expired about ten years ago.

          1. Graychin: I sold the car in question 12 years ago-do I have a duty to find the buyer and tell him the warranty is about to go out? What would Stitt do?

    3. Dennis! There’s some lovely filth down here!

  11. I wonder how other billionaire conservative business moguls are facing this crisis in OK. Has Senor Jamón sent everyone at Continental home yet?

  12. Also, I can see how some of their employees could work from home but you must have never done any manual labor, if you think a distribution warehouse can load trucks from home.

  13. The Greens: “Let ‘em die. God’ll sort ‘em all out.”

  14. That’s tragic Mrs Lincoln but how was the play?

    Considering a global pandemic is not really spurring junk craft sales why is it even necessary for them to stay open?

    As for the personal beliefs of the Greens, amazing. Being able to justify your own greed through a religion that bases itself on sacrifice and compassion while you refuse to make sacrifices or have compassion is just nothing more than the Oklahoma Standard we’ve all come to know to well. Imagine that!? One can only pray that the Greens, who are probably holed up and self quarantined, contract the virus and decline medical science in preference of prayer. We can then truly see this prayer warrior and how close to god she is or will shortly be.

  15. day he will get his just reward. Greedy

  16. Funny how no one is complaining about the myriad of other retail stores that remain open. Moreover, the vast majority of employees at the corporate offices are warehouse workers, who cannot do that work from home. Many who can work from home have been given that option. Having some of the info isn’t helpful when all of the info makes more sense.

    1. Lots of people are. Gamestop was excoriated for sending notices to managers to remain open and to try to justify themselves as essential. Costco is being criticized for making corporate employees come in ever after an employee died from the disease. There are various stories naming and shaming companies that are making light of this. This story just has an Oklahoma connection, so it’ll get play on an Oklahoma website.

  17. I’ve worked for Hobby Lobby’s corporate offices. This surprises me 0%.

  18. Republicans: “Let’s kill people, not businesses!”

  19. What this article didn’t say and what they are keeping under wraps is that people have tested positive that work for Hobby Lobby and yet they still continue to open their manufacturing area where this person worked. Insane to me.

  20. I wonder if the Green family is in the comfort of their home protecting themselves from the virus while their employees are risking THEIR health.
    They are going to be responsible for keeping the virus going.
    I am saddened by this. I think it’s disgusting and they are NOT doing the Christian thing. Greed is a sin.

  21. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins and he is practicing it well. I also work retail and our owner has no intention of closing and taking the precaution against this pandemic. I just hope we get through this alive.

  22. I find Hobby Lobby not only staying open defying local and state “stay at home guidelines”, but are displaying reckless endangerment to their employee’s, and customers! I live in the DFW metropolitan area, with a family member who currently works at Hobby Lobby. On March 21st her store closed indefinitely as mandated by local government that all “non-essential” businesses close at 6:00pm. Employees were told to file unemployment, and that they would receive emergency pay based on hours earned over the last six weeks at 75%. Employee hours have been decreased due to the virus and lack of customer’s in the store two weeks prior to the closing mandate. On March 28th (one week later), my roommate received a call from the store manager that the store was going to reopen on March 30, and that the emergency pay was no longer in effect! She was told by the manager a loop hole was found deeming the company now “ESSENTIAL”. She was given the option to either come back to work at reduced hours, or take a leave of absence using PPTO and vacation hours! My roommate was torn about making this decision, but opted to take the leave of absence. Doing this would cancel out any unemployment benefits applied for!!! Her decision was made based on the fact she cares for her elderly mother, who is health compromised and extremely high risk to the virus. Exposing herself daily to other employees and customer’s not heeding to the local government mandate to “shelter at home” was a risk she was not going to take!! We are enraged at the behavior of Hobby Lobbying not supporting their employees, or caring about the customers who make the Green’s very wealthy (they are reportedly worth 6.4 billion dollars!! I realize this is a long post, but I feel strongly that the public needs to know that this supposedly CHRISTIAN company is anything but!!! They hide behind the Christian label, proclaiming that God speaks to them giving guidance on business decisions!! That is blaspheme in the highest order!! So, in a time of a global pandemic where numbers are increasing every day, and most people here are adhering to local and state mandates, HOBBY LOBBY feels they are exempt and will go to any length to make a profit!!!

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